Football betting tipsby Ben, last updated 2008-05-07 16:38:41
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For the first time in the 15 year history of the English Premier League, the title race goes to the final game of the season with two teams tied on points. After 37 matches Manchester United and Chelsea both have 84 points with one game to play, but crucially the Red Devils’ hugely superior goal difference puts them in poll position to retain their Premiership crown. Get up to 60% better Premiership betting odds for the final weekend of the season at PinnacleSports.com.
Despite winning three Premier League titles as a Manchester United player, Steve Bruce will be no less determined to get a result at the JJB Stadium on Sunday as his Wigan side look to spoil the Red Devils’ party. Alex Ferguson’s team talk should be straight-forward enough, win the game and United are Champions. However, should they slip up, then Chelsea are poised to snatch the title from under their noses. Another Man United legend, Mark Hughes, put a spanner in the works as Blackburn held the league leaders to a draw in mid-April, so despite Wigan having nothing tangible to play for, this game is no gimme.
The ‘Latics are unbeaten in five games, including a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge, and victory last weekend at Villa Park, traditionally two very difficult venues to get a result. Steve Bruce has had a dramatic impact since taking over in November, ensuring the club’s survival, by building a tight defensive unit. Wigan have conceded just once in their last eight home games, so it will take something special from the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo to unlock their defence. Ronaldo’s double against West Ham last weekend at Old Trafford settled nerves and took his toll for the season to 40; the PFA Player of the year could be the difference again in this game and PinnacleSports.com price Man Utd 2.110 (+1.5 & 2)*.
On paper, Chelsea’s home game against Bolton Wanderers, seems a simpler task than Manchester United’s game at the JJB Stadium. However, winning isn’t enough for the Blues, they need Wigan to produce a similar result to the 1-1 draw achieved at Stamford Bridge in mid-April that has become so crucial to the title race. Avram Grant rested Frank Lampard and Joe Cole for Monday’s win at St.James’ Park, where once again, Michael Ballack became the match-winner. Cole and Lampard are expected to start on Sunday as Chelsea look to finish a third successive Premiership campaign with an unbeaten home record.
Bolton come to Stamford Bridge virtually assured of safety, only an extremely unlikely turn of events could send them down, so they may lack some of the fight, shown in recent games, which has helped them stay up. Punters should however be aware that Bolton’s physical game has caused Chelsea problems in the past. Wanderers have lost just one of their last four visits to the Bridge, so they are certainly capable of frustrating the Blues on such a key day. PinnacleSports.com price Chelsea 1.971 (+2)*.
Weekend Tips / A Lazy ‘Worst Of’ Compilation
By Gerry McDonnellSaying goodbye to the football season is very much like giving birth to a ginger child: after nine months of optimism, hope and anguish, you're left with a genuine feeling of disappointment.
The final day is often emotional. Who could forget Arsenal pipping Liverpool to the title in 1989? Well sadly, my old man. In fact, if you see a small befuddled pensioner roaming the streets, you'll be better off avoiding football trivia altogether; senility is no picnic.
I'm absolutely devastated that I have to work on Sunday as the drama unfolds. The gaffer has offered me double time and a day in lieu though, which I'm reasonably happy with; but it hasn't gone down too well with Louise.
Lou hasn't been this upset since Liverpool were beaten by Chelsea in the Champions League semi-final. Liverpool supporters are like Paul McCartney on his wedding night; they're struggling to get over a disappointing second leg.
Steven 'more dives than Glasgow' Gerrard will hope to inspire his team-mates to a win over Spurs, but I fancy the Tottenham boys at 9/5. They can be heroes, just for Juande.
Manchester United are on the verge of winning the title and I'm particularly pleased for Paul Scholes. There was a worry that Paul's career was over as a result of blurred vision, practically confirming what my mother told me. I'll have my head in my hands if Manchester United fail to beat Wigan at 1/4.
As is often the case in such a high profile match, there has been plenty of early activity in the first goal scorer market. Bookmakers have already seen a monkey on Ronaldo, a pony on Carlos Tevez and an old dog on Wayne Rooney.
A recently discovered tribe of Congolese pygmies have admitted knowing absolutely nothing of western civilisation, other than the fact that Steven Gerrard is better at football than Frank Lampard.
Frank simply isn't that great a player, most of his goals come from his close relationship with the O'Shea family, notably Rick. Frank would need 29 attempts to score on an 18-30 stone holiday.
Frank will not be happy about Chelsea finishing second best to Manchester United. I remember how upset he was when I first suggested that he had a weight problem - he sent me a text that read, 'gbvsdfabdsb'.
Ashley Cole will also be unhappy with a runners-up spot. The overrated full-back is desperate for success to cement his role as a celebrity. He's already been offered a spot on next week's Jonathan Ross show, he just needs to find three pals and a piano. Chelsea are certainties to beat Bolton, i'm all over the 1/6 like John Terry on a referee.
I'm no stranger to disappointment; I once watched all of Soccer AM. Alex McLeish can empathise, he would give his right arm for Birmingham to avoid relegation, but a trade of that magnitude has only ever come off for Heather Mills. I'm backing Blackburn to beat the Blues at 3/1, but be warned, the price is dropping quicker than Steven Gerrard in a penalty area.
Reading are a lot like Princess Diana, they used to look good, but they've hit a wall.
The wife is praying that the Royals stay up, as she's supported them ever since her English teacher wrote 'reading difficulties' on her school report.
I also hope that Reading beat Derby, as I'm not a great fan of Robbie Savage - I can't forget how he kicked me off the waltzers when I was young. I can't let my heart rule my head though, I'm going to be like Robbie and mark the coupon with an 'X' at 7/2.
Portsmouth are currently wobbling like a jelly on a drunken Sumo wrestler - they haven't won in their last handful of games. Actually, they haven't won in their last four games, so it's more of a Jeremy Beadle handful.
I'd like to see Pompey beat Fulham as I have an enormous amount of sympathy for Harry Redknapp; he's been the subject of more enquiries than the 118-118 guys.
Hollywood should make a film of Harry's life, they could call it 'The buying, the twitch and the fraud probe.'
A case can be made for backing Portsmouth at 5/2 to beat Fulham, but it has more holes than Pete Doherty. I'm going to be like David Cameron in college; and get stuck into the draw at 11/4.
Hopefully, my son will become a professional footballer. The last time we had a kick around in the back garden, he nutmegged me twice; nobody's regretted opening their legs on two separate occasions since Mrs Neville.
Phil Neville is like the sun, you should never look directly at him. The lesser of two evils is surprisingly quite bright, he can quote the old Chinese proverb: 'Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day; give him twelve cans of lager, and he'll think that Newcastle are worth a bet at Goodison Park.
You don't have to be Stephen Hawking to realise that Everton are nailed on at 10/11, even Mrs Hawking could work that one out; if she wasn't down the gym working the bags.
I once said that Benjani couldn't hit a cow's arse with a banjo. If we were ever to meet, he'd probably want to hit me; i'd better change my name to Annette.
On a related note, I once tried to hit a cow's arse with a banjo - at least that's what I told the police officer, although the lack of a banjo aroused some suspicion.
Middlesbrough are a riddle, wrapped up in an enigma, shrouded in mystery, situated in a hole. The 11/10 for a Boro win over Manchester City is the most enticing proposition since Ulrika Johnson offered Sven Goran Eriksson a little slice of Swedish fish pie.
Is it wrong for me to continually speak of my admiration for Cesc Fabregas? Apparently, it is during lovemaking.
Cesc is a little magician. He'll have a great future in the game as long as he avoids Debbie McGee. Arsenal are a great bet at 10/11 to beat Sunderland, it's as clear as the chin on Frank Lampard's chin.
As an Aston Villa supporter, i'm a huge fan of Randy Lerner. I'm not ashamed to say that all it took to make me happy was just one little Yank.
I did read that a healthy male averages 20 minutes when expressing his love physically; I'm assuming that includes the taxi journey and the queue for the cashpoint. I'll be throwing my cash on a West Ham win over the Villa; the 12/5 is positively pulchritudinous.
The Premier League remains my true love, but I've occasionally strayed into the arms of the football league, the SPL, the conference and the Paralympics. I'm a little bit uncomfortable about watching football at such a poor level though, but Rangers have made it into the UEFA Cup final.
I'm often asked why I appear reluctant to share my expertise on the Scottish football scene. I can assure you it's not a result of xenophobia; some of my best friends know Scottish people. I know that a Celtic win over Hibernian at 1/4 will practically wrap up the title for the Bhoys.
My computer is a lot like the wife, if the information is punched in correctly, positive results are guaranteed. My spreadsheet plays a sound if the odds offered on an accer are greater than the actual probability of success: when I placed 16/1 next to Middlesbrough, Tottenham and West Ham, it whipped out a guitar.
Birmingham v Blackburn Sunday 11th May 15:00 Live on Sky
Get on: Blackburn
Chelsea v Bolton Sunday 11th May 15:00 Live on Sky
Get on: Chelsea
Derby v Reading Sunday 11th May 15:00
Get on: Draw
Everton v Newcastle Sunday 11th May 15:00
Get on: Everton
Middlesbrough v Man City Sunday 11th May 15:00
Man City 27/10
Get on: Middlesbrough
Portsmouth v Fulham Sunday 11th May 15:00 Live on Setanta
Get on: Draw
Sunderland v Arsenal Sunday 11th May 15:00
Get on: Arsenal
Tottenham v Liverpool Sunday 11th May 15:00
Get on: Tottenham
West Ham v Aston Villa Sunday 11th May 15:00
West Ham 12/5
Aston Villa 13/10
Get on: West Ham
Wigan v Man Utd Sunday 11th May 15:00 Live on Sky
Man Utd 1/4
Get on: Man Utd
Last day of the Premiership bets
Early PicksNo real stand out prices worth betting with on the last day of the season. A few meaningless games on the cards, Boro/ City, Sunderland/ Arsenal, Spurs/ Liverpool.
Others have something on them but results going the other way will make the results academic. Reading and Birmingham’s games fall in to this category. If Fulham fail to win then one of those 2 can possibly stay up. Not going to be betting on teams fighting for their lives this weekend though. Reading and Birmingham are down there for a reason.
Fulham should win but 2.2 for an away win is too low for me. Even if Pompy have got the cup final to look forward to but still, they are at home and are 8th in the league. I don’t think they’ll lay down.
Villa, Everton and Blackburn are going for 5th and 6th place. 5th gives UEFA Cup, 6th gives Intertoto Cup which is another route in to Europe. Everton at 1.91 at Bet365 looks like a decent bet. Keagen’s probably already looking to next season and Everton know a home win will cement that 5th place.
Villa look a good bet too after last weeks shock 2-0 home loss. They’ve actually only 4 away from home all season (better record away from home) and West Ham going through an end of season slump, I can see Villa getting at least a point. Its 1.67 for the draw no bet at bluesquare.
Man U/ Chelsea double looks nailed on. Blusquare is best priced for the double at 1.46. Not a good price but both teams know that if they slip up it practically hands the title to the other team. You just got to ask yourself, where can you get a 46% return overnight?
Everton to beat Newcastle 1.91 at bet365 - free £100 bet basket
Villa to beat West Ham at 2.3 or for safety, 1.67 draw no bet at bluesquare
Man U/ Cheslea Double at 1.46 at bluesquare Get £25 free bet
Odds taken Wednesday 7th May 2008 17.00
All Kick offs 3pm BST 11th May.
West Ham (3.25) Draw (3.5) Aston Villa (2.3)
Birmingham (2.05) Draw (3.6) Blackburn (4)
Derby (6.5) Draw (4.2) Reading (1.62)
Middlesbrough (2.1) Draw (3.4) Manchester City (3.6)
Sunderland (4.5) Draw (3.75) Arsenal (1.91)
Tottenham (2.6) Draw (3.53) Liverpool (2.75)
Wigan (15) Draw (6.5) Manchester United (1.25)
Chelsea (1.17) Draw (8) Bolton (18)
Everton (1.95) Draw (3.5) Newcastle United (4.7)
Portsmouth (3.35) Draw (3.65) Fulham (2.2)
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